Federal government extends matching funds program

March 21, 2013… The federal government has raised the cap on its Endowment Incentives Program, offering the Stratford Festival a prime opportunity to raise an additional $10 million for its Endowment.

The Festival met its Endowment campaign goal of $50 million in 2007, with the federal Endowment Incentives program playing a pivotal role in that achievement.

“Matching grants are compelling motivators for our donors, and we are extremely grateful to the federal government for providing us with this outstanding fundraising tool – and for recognizing the needs of cultural organizations in this way in this year’s budget,” says Executive Director Anita Gaffney. “Our Endowment Fund sets the foundation for our long-term stability and the earnings from the fund provide the Festival with a reliable source of income for our annual operating budget.”

Effective April 1, 2013, the government will increase the Festival’s eligible match through the Endowment Incentives program by $5 million. The incentive had previously been capped at $10 million in 2005 and the Festival was able to match those funds thanks to the generosity of its donors. The cap on the matching funds that the Festival is eligible to access is now at $15 million.

The Festival’s Endowment has holdings of $57 million. Earnings from the Endowment help to fund non-revenue-generating projects, including:

  • The Festival’s educational activities, which provide an impressive array of programs to tens of thousands of students every year, including teacher training, elementary and secondary classroom support, study guides and professionally led drama workshops.
  • The Birmingham Conservatory for Classical Theatre, which provides classical theatre training for 8 to 12 young actors each year, and is the only program of its sort in North America.
  • The Michael Langham Workshop for Classical Direction, which provides training for 6 to 12 mid-career directors each year, offering them an unparalleled learning opportunity.
  • The Festival’s Archive, the largest of its kind, which is open to the public, welcoming more than 1,600 people every year and providing answers to more than 2,500 reference requests annually. It also hosts university and high-school interns and offers a number of outreach and education activities, including talks, symposiums, tours and screenings.
  • Coaching and training programs for actors and other theatrical artists and artisans.
  • The development of new plays, an activity that supports not only playwrights but also theatres across the country that choose to produce the new works.

Over the past 13 years, the Endowment Fund has contributed an annual payout of about 3.5%, for a cumulative total of $17.8 million to operating activities, while still preserving the principal of $57 million.

The 2013 season begins on April 23 and runs until October 20, featuring Romeo and JulietFiddler on the RoofThe Three MusketeersThe Merchant of VeniceTommy,Blithe SpiritOthelloMeasure for MeasureMary StuartWaiting for Godot and two new Canadian plays, Taking Shakespeare and The Thrill. To order tickets, call 1.800.567.1600 or visit www.stratfordfestival.ca.

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